Museum News

Coming Exhibition: Thirty years of acquisitions in the Nord-Pas de Calais Carte blanche given to the region’s museums

“Thirty years of acquisitions in the Nord-Pas de Calais
Carte blanche given to the region’s museums”



Musée du Louvre-Lens

When: May 28, 2014 – June 1, 2015 (Hours Vary)


Musée du Louvre-Lens Temporary Gallery
99 Rue Paul Bert
62300 Lens, France

More Information: Here.

This exhibition presents an overview of acquisitions by museums in the Nord-Pas de Calais region over the last thirty years.

It is an excellent opportunity to explain to visitors the meaning and logic behind a purchase. The event is therefore part of the Louvre-Lens’ mission to go behind the scenes and reveal the inner workings of museums. Featuring works acquired thanks to the involvement of the FRAM regional acquisition fund for museums, endowed in equal part by the State and Region, the exhibition showcases the efforts of various players in enriching museums: the local authorities answerable for the collections, the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs, and the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council. 

Organized by:

Luc Piralla, Musée du Louvre-Lens;
Philippe Gayot, Musées de la Porte du Hainaut, association of museum curators for the Nord-Pas de Calais.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Found to House Looted Art

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Python bell-krater acquired in 1989 matches object documented in confiscated Medici archive, according to forensic archaeologist Christos Tsirogiannis: “The evidence suggests that the vase has most likely been unlawfully removed from Italian soil”

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin via “ARCA

The Classic Greek mixing-bowl attributed to the artist Python (active ca. 350 – 325 BC) of Poseidonia (Paestan) on display in Gallery 161 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City should be returned to Italy because it has no collecting history before 1989 and has been matched with photographs in the possession of a convicted art dealer, according to the work of University of Cambridge’s Christos Tsirogiannis. (You can see The Met’s description of the object online here ). 
This terracotta bell-krater, described in detail in Dr. Tsirogiannis’ column “Nekyia” in the Spring 2014 issue ofThe Journal of Art Crime, appears with soil/salt encrustations in five photographs from the confiscated Medici archive – including one Polaroid image. Then, “The object was auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York in June 1989 and the same year appeared as part of The Met’s antiquities collection,” Dr. Tsirogiannis reports.
Art dealer Giacomo Medici was convicted in 2005 of participating in the sale of looted antiquities. The story of how illicit antiquities were sold to art galleries and museums in Europe and North America was told in the 2006 book by Peter Watson & Cecilia Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy: the illicit journey of looted antiquities, from Italy’s tomb raiders to the world’s greatest museums(Public Affairs). The Medici archives (or “Medici Dossier”)  were described as “thirty albums of Polaroids, fifteen envelopes with photographs, and twelve envelopes with rolls of film … [along with] 100 full rolls of exposed film … [for] a total of 3,600 images” found in Medici’s warehouse of antiquities in Geneva in 1995. . . . .



“First Look Inside Expanded Harvard Art Museums”

“First Look Inside Expanded Harvard Art Museums”

by Greg Cook via “The Artery

“Light is one of the most important materials of architecture,” Renzo Piano said at a talk at Harvard University in 2009. Light and transparency—one of the ways he makes light part of his architecture—are primary themes for the suave, celebrated Italian architect.

“Transparency is still a very important quality of urban life,” he said at that Harvard talk. “Urbanity comes because the buildings talk to the street.”

These notions are evident in his designs for the newly renovated and expanded Harvard Art Museums between Quincy and Prescott streets in Cambridge. On Tuesday the university announced plans to reopen the complex on Nov. 16.

Since the project began with the closing of the institution’s Fogg Museum and Busch-Reisinger museums in 2008, he’s taken the iconic Italian Renaissance-style courtyard at the heart of the 1927 Fogg, which has been protected with listing on the National Register of Historic Places since the 1980s, and extended it upward and crowned it with a futuristic-looking, steel and glass pyramid that floods the five-story-tall space with sun.

Piano first made his mark as a post-modern punk with his designs for Paris’s Pompidou Centre in the 1970s, which seemed to expose all the guts of the museum  . . . .”

“Rediscovering China, India and Southeast Asia at the Cleveland Museum of Art: The new West Wing”

“Rediscovering China, India and Southeast Asia at the Cleveland Museum of Art: The new West Wing”

by Steven Litt via “Cleveland Art

Exhibition: “Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian Galleries”


The Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Blvd., Cleveland

Opening Date: Jan. 2., 2014

Cost of Admission: Free


“They were destinations of conquest and desire for millennia. Reaching them by caravan or by sea was dangerous, if not deadly. Yet traders and invaders from across Europe and Asia couldn’t resist the allure of China, India and Southeast Asia.

Thanks to the completion of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s new West Wing, Northeast Ohioans can now travel with ease – artistically speaking – to places that once fired the imaginations of Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, Columbus and Magellan.

 On Thursday, the museum will launch a members-only preview of six new galleries containing nearly 500 works of art in jade, silk, bronze, gold, porcelain, ink on paper and dozens of types of stone, including the blue-gray schist of Afghanistan and the red sandstone of the Ganges Valley. . . . .”